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National People’s Congress: By the Numbers

We’ve boiled down the key figures from the government’s big annual meet so you don’t have to

Every year, an enormous amount of pomp and ceremony is unleashed at the National People’s Congress, with journalists lining up outside all through the night to get the best seats in the house.

At the end of the day though, the bulk of the media coverage all boils down to things that could effectively be summarized in a few press releases: the figures that chart China’s progress.

So, to save you the time of wading through reams and reams of analysis, interpretation and bureaucratic Party jargon, TWOC has boiled it down to the key numbers. You’re welcome.

6.5 percent This is the GDP growth target for 2017 (though debates have long raged over how accurate these GDP figures really are).

20 years The GDP growth target is the lowest in two decades. But keep in mind, growth represents a percentage of the economy as it exists now. 6.5 percent of China’s economy in 2017 is far bigger than what it was 20 years ago.

3 percent This is the targeted increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). China wants to keep the CPI rises to 3 percent or less in 2017. The CPI tracks the prices of a basket of household goods.

11 million new urban jobs predicted for 2017.

74.4 trillion yuan. That was China’s GDP in 2016. That’s the total after that year’s 6.7 percent growth, and represented 30 percent of world growth.

3.4 percent reduction in energy usage per unit of GDP for 2017.

3 percent (of GDP) deficit for 2017, up from 2.3 percent the previous year.

800 billion yuan to be invested in railways in 2017, and 1.8 trillion for highways.

Bulk of the figures drawn from Xinhua’s analysis.


Picture shows Li Keqiang delivering the government work report. Photo via Xinhua.


David Dawson is the former deputy editor of The World of Chinese.

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